Category: Mind Control

MKUltra: CIA Mind Control Projects


In the 1950s Sidney Gottlieb, began parts of the MKUltra projects under the orders of the CIA. The aim of these series of related projects were to develop mind-controlling drugs and techniques for use against the Soviet bloc. Part of the motivation for the projects may have been response to alleged Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean use of mind control techniques on U.S. prisoners of war in Korea.

The actual facts about MKUltra will never be fully known. In 1973, CIA director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed. MKUltra was 162 different secret projects that were financed by the CIA, and contracted out to universities, foundations and other institutions. About 80 institutions and 185 researchers participated, but most did not know the CIA connections to the research.

Millions of dollars was spent by the CIA, from the 1950s to the early 1970s, on studies examining methods of influencing and controlling the mind, and of extracting information from subjects during interrogation. The Canadian government was also involved through the work of Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron who experimented on unwitting patients in Canada. The Canadian government paid compensation to some victims.

In the mid-1970s, congressional committee and presidential commission reports revealed that the CIA and the Department of Defense had conducted experiments on both unwitting and willing subjects as part of projects to study influencing and controlling human behavior through the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and mescaline and other chemical, biological, and psychological methods.

While the CIA claims MKUltra type projects have been abandoned, there is no way to corroborate such claims. No individuals or institutions were ever brought to justice relating to these projects. We can only hope that such experiments have been discontinued due uselessness.

Other S. A. Gibson posts about mind control:

Loss of Control in Dawn from Octavia Butler

Octavia E. Butler is justifiably considered one of the finest American writers. Dawn was published in 1987. Dawn is the first book in the Xenogenesis or Lilith’s Brood series. This book contains the threads of Butler’s science fiction themes. Relations between genders, aliens versus humans, the future of earth as dystopia or utopia. I want to address the aspect of control and free will in this story.

The book, Dawn, can be a vehicle to discuss issues of mind control. In the book, physical restraint is used on captives to make them amenable to persuasion. Lilith, our protagonist, is held in inescapable prison rooms on an alien spaceship.  If she does not choose to cooperate with the aliens, she will be put back into suspended animation. That was the penalty for previous failures of her ability to help the aliens.

In the story, Lilith wakes in a mysterious room after humans have made the earth uninhabitable. It turns out aliens have come and rescued a number of survivors from the planet and held them in sleep states while they take hundreds of years to restore Earth to a livable state. Lilith is quick to ask the aliens what they want in return for their altruism. The aliens believe their demands are reasonable, but some humans will be unwilling to accept the request.

I see evidence, in this story, of one of the oldest and simplest forms of mind control. The aliens are in total control of all aspects of the captives’ lives. They control the rooms where Lilith and the other humans can move in. They control the access to food and other resources. And the aliens hold an overwhelming trump over each human. If the human does not measure up, they will be put back into suspended animation. To be awoken only, if ever, when the aliens decide to give them another chance to cooperate.

We see Lilith plan resistance when the story starts. Over time we see a change, as she loses her loyalty to humans and bonds more with the aliens. This is not an unfamiliar pattern.  Similar behavior can fit into a behavior labeled Stockholm Syndrome. This is said to occur when a victim develops close emotional ties to an abuser who is in control. Lilith begins the story seeking to defend herself from rape and rescue other human females who are attacked. Later in the story, she assists the aliens in raping human males.

Dawn addresses question of alienation, loneliness, masculinity, female power, racism, sexism, and difficulties in healthy group cooperation. Taken with other Octavia Butler stories, it appears that particular issues are of very high importance to the author. It is an interesting topic, how humanity could be “rescued” and reshaped by aliens. While I found the book to be an unpleasant challenge to read, I admit that some fascinating issues were introduced. One issue involves several different brands of coercion.  Lilith and the humans are physically controlled, chemically drugged, and threatened with punishment. Mind control can be enacted utilizing each of these approaches.

You can find additional Afro-centric posts at:

Mind Control in The Host


In 2010 Stephenie Myer published The Host. This story is an alien invasion story, with some similarities to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or The Puppet Masters. Aliens arrive with the ability to take over the body of a human, while destroying the mind to replace it with an alien mind.

The twist in this story is one human mind resists the take over and continually fights to regain control of its body and it’s friendship with unconverted humans.   I found this tale enjoyable, and somewhat believable. Likely, because I was interested in the character questions. What does it mean for someone to lose their body? Can an alien invader have compassion for another species? Can a somewhat peaceful resolution be constructed in a war like this?

What I think works is the mind control aspect of the story. The alien species is portrayed as a mult-dentric like creature with maybe thousands of connecting waving parts. It is small enough to fit into a human brain. We witness a partially-surgical insertion of the parasite. I like the idea that the alien traces and connects to multiple nerves in the brain to take control. Also, it’s a great idea that the host consciousness is not immediately destroyed. Seems reasonable that the previous occupant holds on and exists in some form in the brain that has been taken over. In the story, the alien takes complete control of the body. That could be possible if the alien established blocks between the archipallium structures of the brain, and the host consciousness.

What seems least likely for the mind control aspect of the story. Like most alien mind control tales, there should be a vast gulf of foreignness between the invader and the host mind. I would expect an alien mind controller from another planet to have a great deal of trouble operating the machine that is a human brain and body. While the consciousness of the invader could be conceived as residing in the small alien body, controlling and interfacing with the memories of the host, and utilizing the body of the host in a meaningful way seem enormous challenges. No difficulty is shown when Wanderer, the alien to take over Melanie’s body, is implanted. Wanderer, it is explained, was last in some type of ocean dwelling alien on another planet. Yet, in a day she is in total control of the host, Melanie’s, body, and accesses many memories of the human. This aspect of the story is hard to assimilate, so I’ll just grant the author’s privilege, for the sake of the story.

As I stated, I find this to be one of the more interesting alien mind control stories. It was made into a movie in 2013: In an ironic twist, Saoirse Ronan was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for her performance in The Host, under the category “Choice Movie Actress: Sci-fi/Fantasy”, but lost to Kristen Stewart for her performance in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.